Protecting new parents from discrimination

Pregnancy or maternity discrimination is illegal under the Equality Act, yet up to 54,000 women a
year still feel forced out due to discrimination on these grounds.

On 22 July 2019, as part of The Good Work Plan, the government announced its commitment to extend legal protections against redundancy for pregnant women and new mothers returning to work
(which includes those taking adoption and shared parental leave).

Currently, mothers are only protected from redundancy during their pregnancy and until their return to work following maternity leave. Those that aren’t entitled to maternity leave are only protected for
two weeks following their child’s birth.

The aim of The Good Work Plan is to protect new parents from discrimination in the workplace, with the government committing to the following:-

, ensuring redundancy protection period applies from the point the employee informs the employer that she is pregnant, whether orally or in writing;
, extending the redundancy protection period by/to 6 months once a new mother has returned to work;
, ensuring that those taking adoption and shared parental leave are protected against redundancy for a period of time after they return to work; and
, establishing a taskforce of employer and family groups who will seek to improve the information available to employers and families on pregnancy and maternity discrimination. They would also seek to develop an action plan on what the government and other organisations can do to make it easier for pregnant women and new mothers to stay in work.